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Location/Context The project is located in a mid-century development of Río Piedras . The neighborhood, typical of upper middle class housing developments of the time, is composed of lots averaging 1,500 m2, with individually designed custom houses. The house sits on a corner parcel, defined by a local main-street on the south-east, and by a cul-de-sac on the north side. Site/Zoning The site is characterized by densely vegetated lots, dominated by large, older trees, and by a rising topography which flattens out on the northern side of the property. The zoning restrictions favor single-family, single-story occupancies. Concept The residence, commissioned by a young family with two kids, initially started as a substantial remodeling-addition to a 1950's house. But after the initial rehabilitation concepts proved economically unfeasible, it became a "new-house" project. The clients were particularly specific in describing their architectural intentions for the project: "...a structure that would evoke the clarity of mid-century Puertorrican modernism, with the charm and climatic responsiveness of their courtyarded, Moorish-styled, Old San Juan loft. Ironically, the initial design concept started by emulating the essence of the original house . Slowly, the project became one of reconsidering the "Spanish courtyard house" typology, itself an offspring of the Islamic influence on southern Spanish architecture, and an emblematic model of some of the early, native urbanización projects in Puerto Rico like Villa Caparra, and Sagrado Corazón developments. View more View full description
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